Church of Euthanasia

The One Commandment:
"Thou shalt not procreate"

The Four Pillars:
suicide · abortion
cannibalism · sodomy

Human Population:

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CHRIS KORDA "The Church of Euthanasia Archives"
Goswell Road, Paris
by Sarah Moroz

Throughout the 1990s, the Church of Euthanasia (CoE) channeled the spirit of the Situationist International and Dada movements. The group used prank-like protest tactics and absurdist guerrilla theater, at once ludicrous and inspired, to raise public awareness regarding ecological precarity and reproductive rights. The radical organization was spearheaded in 1992 by transgender artist, activist, and software developer Chris Korda. Korda branded the movement with the sardonic slogan “Save the Planet – Kill Yourself” and venerated Dr. Jack Kevorkian (advocate of euthanasia) and Margaret Sanger (founder of the American birth control movement and Planned Parenthood) as saints. The crux of the group was “Thou Shalt Not Procreate”; its complementary Four Pillars were suicide, abortion (as in pro-abortion, not pro- choice), sodomy (as well as sex not resulting in offspring), and cannibalism (fiercely vegetarian, no difference was made between eating a pig, a cow, or a human). An article on the group’s website (“Eat Me: Rev. Chris Korda Dines for Our Sins” by David Grad) cites political artist Lydia Eccles’s attraction to the group: “It’s amazing, as a woman, to have someone patting you on the back for not having kids: The prevalent culture defines not having kids as an act of selfishness.” She added, “Now I’m getting recognition for things that used to be signs of dysfunction.”

The Church of Euthanasia stressed that the global environmental crisis — climate change, overpopulation, decreasing biodiversity — was a direct result of human self- absorption and negligence. Thus, they attempted to dismantle society’s “normative” reckless behaviors that bulldozed our ecosystems; the group’s incendiary proselytizing and confrontational approach flagged that genuinely catastrophic consequences lay ahead. The show features restored video footage of their public displays, like symbolically emptying a container filled with semen in front of a fertility clinic, or a member strapping himself onto a rotating spit like a sidewalk rotisserie (while a fellow member distributed a platter of alleged bite-sized flesh samples). Adjacent to these clips, the gallery displayed original Church of Euthanasia memorabilia in a vitrine — pins espousing EAT A QUEER FETUS FOR JESUS alongside a Got Milk ad retooled with the word SPERM.

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